Indonesian Christians delighted with twelve new church buildings from Barnabas Fund after quake and tsunami devastation
Congregations at twelve churches devastated by an earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are delighted with new multipurpose halls provided by Barnabas Fund.
Church hall number eleven hosted its first Sunday service on 4 August and building number twelve is almost complete. The first ten multipurpose halls, which are used for Sunday services, prayer meetings, and women’s and children’s ministries, were completed by the end of May.
Barnabas Fund set up an appeal to construct the twelve new buildings in the Palu area of Sulawesi shortly after the region was struck by the powerful earthquake and devastating tsunami in September 2018. At least 2,256 people were killed in the disaster and more than 70,000 homes and about 300 church buildings were damaged or destroyed.
As well as providing financial aid to construct new church buildings, Barnabas’ ongoing appeal has so far generated enough funds to help build 277 homes for Christian families.
The Salvation Army Church in Lompio, Sigi District, was completely destroyed in the disaster and its congregation had to hold services under a canopy for many months. Pastor Mayor Tule Martina said the new building had helped members of the congregation to slowly overcome their trauma.
“They feel safe because this building is strong and comfortable,” the pastor told Barnabas Fund.
Pastor I Wayan Darmadi of the Filadelfia Lakuta Church, also in Sigi District, said his fellowship was flourishing in their new building and more and more newcomers are attending services.
“Praise the Lord! The life of our church members here was very difficult, especially after the earthquake last year. We were hopeless … but after we have our new building, we are filled with joy,” he said.
After receiving requests from Christian survivors of the disaster, Barnabas Fund initially provided disaster relief such as food, water, medicine and electricity generators, school supplies and, crucially, baby milk powder, which was not available locally.